Superintendent’s Memo #170-13

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

June 21, 2013

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  School Security Equipment Grants Program Application

Legislation enacted by the 2013 General Assembly and Governor McDonnell, HB 2343 and Item 139 C.13. of the 2013 Appropriation Act, created a school security equipment grants program for school divisions.  The legislation and appropriation act provision authorizes $6.0 million per year in grant funding through equipment notes issued in fiscal years 2013 and 2014 and made available to divisions during fiscal years 2014 and 2015.  The Virginia Public School Authority (VPSA) has issued $6.0 million in equipment notes in conjunction with the existing VPSA technology notes program to fund the first series of school security equipment grants.  Proceeds of these additional equipment notes will be used to help offset the related local costs associated with the purchase of appropriate security equipment that will improve and help ensure the safety of students attending public schools in Virginia.  Debt service on the equipment notes funding the school security equipment grants is authorized to be paid from the Literary Fund.

The school security equipment grants will be awarded on a competitive basis and school divisions are eligible to apply for and receive grant awards up to $100,000 each fiscal year.  Grant applications must be submitted to the Department of Education by August 1, 2013, in order to apply for the initial grant funding.  The guidelines for this program are provided in Attachment A.

The application form to apply for funding is included as Attachment B and is available on the DOE Web site at: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/support/facility_construction/security_equipment_grants/index.shtml.

School divisions will be notified of their grant award by September 2, 2013, and must purchase the funded security equipment within six months of the notification of the grant award, or by March 3, 2014.  Grant funds will be provided on a reimbursement basis only.

Eligibility Requirements

School divisions are required to use these funds to purchase security equipment that will be installed in eligible schools.  The grants cannot be used to pay for security equipment that is not included or described in the grant application or for other type of school construction work (e.g., building renovations or alterations) or to cover any professional costs (e.g., architectural and engineering fees).  The addition of any other architectural brick and mortar projects will result in the disqualification of a school division’s grant application.  Eligible schools must be scheduled to remain open for at least five more years and there be no planned renovations/additions scheduled for the next five years which would cause the security equipment being requested to become obsolete.

Local Match Requirement

In order for a school division to receive a grant, a local match of 25 percent of the grant amount is required.  The Superintendent of Public Instruction is authorized to reduce the local match for school divisions with a composite index of local ability-to-pay less than 0.2000, including any such school division participating in a regional vocational center, special education center, alternative education center, or academic year Governor’s School.  The Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind is exempt from the local match requirement.

Reimbursement Process

A Request for Reimbursement form will be completed by divisions and submitted with documentation showing the school name, purchases made, and total cost of the qualifying equipment purchased for which reimbursement is being requested.  The reimbursement form will be provided to school divisions that are awarded grant funds.  The completed reimbursement form must be submitted to the Department of Education Office of Support Services for payment approval.  Awarded grant funds will be maintained and disbursed from accounts administered by the State Non-Arbitrage Program (SNAP) under the Virginia Public School Authority.

Once the reimbursement request is approved, written certification will be sent to SNAP to make the reimbursement payment.  SNAP will make the payment to the school division within 30 days of receipt of the certification. 

School divisions, including eligible regional programs, interested in submitting an application for these competitive grant funds must do so by August 1, 2013.  Late or incomplete application submissions will not be accepted for consideration.  If you have questions, please contact the Office of Support Services at (804) 225-2035 or (804) 225-2037.  You may also e-mail the following staff if you have questions:  June.Eanes@doe.virginia.gov, Hunter.Barnes@doe.virginia.gov, or Vijay.Ramnarain@doe.virginia.gov.

PIW/JFE/cle

Attachments:

  1. Attachment A – Guidelines (Word)
  2. Attachment B – Application (Word)